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A Poetry Lesson Plan for Teaching Simile and Metaphor

Level: First Year High School Subject: Communication Arts/English I. Objectives: To appreciate the language and content of poetry by: A. identifying similes and metaphors B. interpreting similes and metaphors C. using similes and metaphors to describe people and the environment II. Content: A. Willow and Ginkgo by Eve Merriam B. exercises for developing knowledge of figures and speech 1. simile 2. metaphor III. Materials: A. a copy of the poem B. a set of questions for discussion C. individual activity sheets D. cartolina and markers IV. Strategies A. listening as the teacher reads; noting pauses and stresses; reading in chorus B. discussion and recitation C. writing similes and metaphors V. Procedures: A. Motivation What are some ways authors write to make their details more vivid? What are some good words we can use to describe (the ocean, a tree, the sky)? How about when we want to compare two things? How can we write things to show comparisons? Read the following statements: "Skin as white as snow." "Her hips are a desk." What characteristics do they share? What do you think is meant by these statements? B. Presentation

Let us take a look at how Eve Merriam describes two different trees in her poem entitled "Willow and Ginkgo." C. Activities 1. Listen as I read the poem. Follow the lines in your copy. Pay attention to where I pause and the words, and syllables I stress. 2. Now let us read the poem together. Let us observe the correct pauses and stresses in the poem. 3. What is the poem about? (Two trees: Willow and Ginkgo) How did Eve Merriam describe the trees? (Comparison) Why do you think the author uses these comparisons to describe trees? Why do you think the author did not use the trees characteristics to give a direct description? The author uses figures of speech to help the reader gain a better picture of what is being described. These figures of speech are similes and metaphors. A simile is a comparison using like or as. It usually compares two dissimilar objects. For example: Bert is as tall as a mountain. We are comparing the height of Bert to a mountain. A metaphor is a figure of speech that suggests likeness by speaking of one thing as if it were another. For example: Her head is an encyclopedia. The sentence is comparing or stating that the person is very intelligent by saying that her head is an encyclopedia. Let us try to describe something in nature. Can you give some examples of similes and metaphors about the (forest, lake, sea, different animals)? They will count off until 2. One group will be assigned to simile and the other to metaphor. As a group, they will go over the poem again. Each group will have to identify their respective figures of speech and what is being compared in the poem. They will write the examples on the cartolina and post your work on the board. 4. For the next activity each group will be assigned to use their similes (group 1) or metaphors (group 2) and change them into the other. They will change the similes to metaphors and the metaphors to similes. ex: My head is like a badly organized file --> My head is a badly organized file. Her smile is a million bucks. --> Her smile is like a million bucks. 5. Each student should choose a classmate or a popular figure and write a paragraph containing at least three similes and three metaphors to describe that person. The comparisons should be based on facts. They have 15 minutes to complete the activity then ask for volunteers to read their work in class.

VI. Evalution A. Teacher will assess the students' similes and metaphors using the following guidelines: 1. Did they use like or as in similes? 2. Did they use comparison? 3. Is the information accurate about the person they chose? B. The teacher will pass around activity sheets for them to answer. On the activity sheet is a list of similes and metaphors. The students will identify which ones are similes and write the letter "S" on the space provided and write the letter "M" for the sentences that contain metaphors. VII. Enrichment Activity: The students will group themselves into three. They will work as a group to come up with a poem about any aspect of the environment. The poem should contain comparisons with at least 5 similes and 5 metaphors.